Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system, let’s get on with this review.
“Maimed for the Masses” is the first single off of Night Birds’ upcoming album, Born to Die in Suburbia, and boy does it pack a punch. At three minutes and seventeen seconds, it’s easily the longest Night Birds song (for now), but it goes by so fast that it’s hardly even noticeable. “Maimed for the Masses”, a tribute to WWE Superstar Mick Foley, sees the band continuing their brand of Adolescents-meets-Dead Kennedys punk rock, complete with monster imagery and vocal harmonies that have no place being in a song so snotty. Usually such little progression from previous material isn’t always the most welcome, but there is always room to make exceptions for Night Birds, and all this familiarity brings high hopes for the upcoming album. “Barred Out”, the first b-side on this EP, is another blast of old school punk but done in half the time. It’s not an awful song, but compared to the EP’s lead track, it’s easy to see why this song didn’t make the cut.
Side B contains two more non-album tracks, and also finds the band channeling their inner-Agent Orange in some of their most surf-influenced songs to date. The semi-chanted yells in the chorus of “Last Gasp” are vaguely reminiscent of the surf punk classic “Bloodstains”, while “Boat Trash” is a speedy instrumental with minimal lyrics- a staple of the surf genre. It almost plays as if Night Birds wrote their own version of a Dick Dale song being covered by Agent Orange. It’s a shame that these two songs were deemed unworthy to be included on the band’s sophomore LP, but at the same time it’s exciting: if the songs that didn’t make it are this good, just imagine how amazing the tracks that did make it will be.
Maimed for the Masses exceeds its job as a teaser for the band’s new album and the EP fits in right at home alongside Night Birds and Midnight Movies. Had Born to Die in Suburbia not already been announced, I think that these four songs could be the only four songs that the band releases this year, and there would not have been a single complaint. Yes, that’s how good this is.
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